While TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the remainder of the NHL schedule won’t be released until the weekend, the Los Angeles Kings know who they will be opening their season against. The Kings will be hosting the Chicago Blackhawks next Saturday, January 19 in what will be a very special night.
While some fans would prefer the Kings opening up their home schedule against a more hated rival live the Vancouver Canucks or the Anaheim Ducks, the decision to open against the Blackhawks is a wise choice.
Being Los Angeles and Chicago drop the puck, the Kings will have their long-awaited championship ceremony where their Stanley Cup banner will be raised to the rafters of Staples Center. It’s worth noting that since the NBA’s Lakers have their championship banners plastered along the walls of Staples, the Kings’ 2012 championship banner will be the first to hang from the rafters of the building.
With that said, what better opponent to have than Chicago, the previous Western Conference representative to win the Stanley Cup? While the Boston Bruins were the last champions before the Kings, the intra-conference schedule this season won’t allow a team from the East to visit the Kings or vice-versa.
At the team news conference yesterday, President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said that every fan in attendance will receive mini-championship banners as well as replica championship rings which the King’ team will also be receiving during Saturday’s pre-game ceremony (only authentic).
The season-opener is slated to begin at noon as the NBA’s Clippers have the Staples Center occupied for a home game that evening.
As of right now, that’s all the scheduling the Los Angeles Kings have to look forward to but they should know about their remaining 47 games by either tomorrow or Sunday.
Whichever way you look at it, the Kings are back and I couldn’t be happier.
Photo: Courtesy of Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press